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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:22 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #16: November 20, 2001


Journal Name: Prometheus, Volume 6, Number 2, December 1988



The 'Communications Revolution' and the Household: Some Thoughts from Japan
by Tessa Morris-Suzuki
In recent years there has been much debate on the likely impact of new communication media on the household. In Japan, where progress in the development and application of communications technology has been rapid, a large-scale experiment was conducted between 1984 and 1987 to test public acceptance of these media. This article examines some of the major findings of the experiment. It concludes that household use of the new media in the immediate future is likely to be very limited. In the longer run such use may expand, but a number of important technological and social changes will be necessary before large-scale expansion can occur.
Communications, technology, diffusion, Japan

The Social shaping of a Laboratory: the Establishment of the Australian Animal Health laboratory
by Pam Scott
Abstract: Technologies are often presented and perceived as being inevitable, natural and necessary, as if they were the products of some inner logic. As a result, there has been a tendency in the past to focus on the effect or impact a technology has on society at the expense of investigating the origin of the technology. More recently, efforts have been made to penetrate the 'black box' of the technological artifact in order to reveal the variety of ways technologies are shaped. This paper will discuss the economic, political and other social factors which shaped the Australian Animal Health Laboratory and which determined its proposed functions.
Australian Animal Health Laboratory, AAHL, technology, social shaping, laboratory

The Analysis of Political Country Risks: Operative Prospects of Politics and Business in the Telematics Age
by Frank-Michael Bahr
The paper provides an outline of recent progress in the advancement of telematic infrastructures in relation to foreign trade and foreign policy. By means of political risk analysis techniques, the social sciences respond to a concerted demand for forecasts from governments and international business. As a result, and due to an increasing importance gained by operative knowledge on political environments, a private market for political logistics supporting international operations has been established.
Telematics, foreign policy, international relations, forecasting, political risk

Strategic Committment, Unknowledge and the Nature of Entrepreneurial Activity
by Bruce W. Ross
This paper argues that the essence of entrepreneurial activity is 'strategic commitment', which encompasses strategic through and decision, together with commitment based on that strategy. Three distinct types of commitment are identified - resource commitment, psychological commitment and organisational commitment. The implications of a recognition of the pervasiveness of unknowledge in entrepreneurial activity are discussed. The paper also suggests that the term 'entrepreneur' be reserved for individuals who have demonstrated a singular aptitude for and commitment to enhancing their organisation's relationship with its environment.
Business strategy, commitment, entrepreneur, unknowledge

Technological Change and Its Impact on Media Policy Planning
by Peter Wilenski
In the media there is a complex interaction between technological change, markets and policy. The policy questions that arise are complex but not insoluble. Who should provide the technological infrastructure? Is economic, social or technical regulation required? If so, what is to be regulated? If technical regulation is required, what are to be the technical standards? We are no longer simply reacting to technological change but are actually planning ahead of change.
media, policy planning, technological change, regulation, infrastructure, technical standards

French Telematics: History, Policy and Projects
by Jean-Pierre Chamoux
Telematics dates from 1978 when it was used to designate the growing overlap between computers and telecommunications. The initial phase was the provision of an electronic substitute for the telephone directory. The free distribution of Minitels was followed by the Teletel 3 V experiment which gave a test population access to a wide range of services. A special billing system has to be developed. Telematics has been extended to the industrial world and business relations.
telematics, Minitel, Teletel 3 V, kiosk system, regulation

Science, Technology and Development in Asia: New Trends adn Old Models
by Reg Henry
This paper reviews the operation of the science and technology ( S&T) for development strategy in the developing countries of Asia since its introduction in the 1960s. It is particularly concerned with the performance of S&T policy-making and planning in promoting the goals of that S&T for development strategy. The various problems which the strategy has faced on S&T policymaking and planning, are explained. The paper concludes by assessing the implications of these problems and trends for the entire S&T for development strategy in the developing countries of Asia.
science and technology in Asia, public policy and development, S&T policy-making and planning

Hospital Costs and Information Case Mix Indexes: Results for Queensland
by J.R.G. Butler
The use of information theory as a basis for the construction of scalar case mix indexes for hospitals is well established but to date no results arising from an application of these indexes to Australian hospitals have been published. This paper provides a simplified explanation of the information theory approach and constructs the indexes for Queensland public hospitals. The usefulness of the indexes is then demonstrated with two applications. First, they are used to explain the variation in average cost per case between the hospitals in the study and are found to account for a small but statistically significant amount of such variation. Second, they are employed to provide estimates of state mean average and marginal costs by case type in Queensland. The resulting estimates are both positive and plausible, characteristics not commonly found in estimates obtained using other techniques.
information theory, hospital cost, case mix, index numbers, public hospitals

Technology in Turmoil
by A. Baklien
The paper evaluates and extrapolates the theory of techno-economic pulses to suggest that the world is unlikely to see major technological innovations on a broad front until the end of this century. The technological understanding by managers and the supply of highly qualified scientists and engineers will be critical. Australia is not well positioned to become a high technology manufacturing nation.
technology, education, industry/academia interaction, techno-economic waves, invention, innovation

The Advanced Information Society: A Suitable Utopia for Australia?
by Alan V. Watt
This paper considers the nature of the information society and its perception as utopia or anti-utopia. Australia is already an information society, and in technological terms, is moving towards an advanced information society. However, recent evidence on the decreased rate of growth of the information sector in the United States, the growth in importance of such areas as biotechnology, and the rapidity with which distinctly different and important problems can appear, may cause the advanced information society to be relegated to just another rejected image of perceived future societies. Thus Australian policy-makers should be cautious about selecting it as a goal.
information society, Australia, policy, future studies

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